Nintendo’s Paid Online Makes “Complete Sense” but May Be Hard Transition for Nintendo Gamers, Says Analyst


One of the biggest news at the Switch reveal was that the company of Mario and Zelda will finally provide a deeper and more robust online service.

However, it will be eventually a paid service in Fall 2017. This news caused a heated debate within the hardcore Nintendo fanbase on whether it was the right choice or not.

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According to Piers Harding-Rolls, Technology and lead games sector analyst at IHS (Information Handling Services) Markit, the decision makes complete sense from a financial standpoint as Microsoft and Sony got a huge influx of revenue from online subscriptions last year. That said, he added that it could be a hard transition to make for the average Nintendo gamer.

The online service has been detailed on the official Switch website. In March 2017, when the new console launches, Online Play will be available for free with the following features:

You’ll be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing in with your Nintendo Account. Online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until our paid online service launches in fall 2017.
After the free-trial period, most games will require a paid online service subscription from Nintendo in order to play online.

This service is only for Switch. It does not affect Wii U or 3DS systems or online play.

In Fall 2017, when the online service goes premium, these features will be added:

Online lobby and voice chat

Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device.

A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.

Monthly game download

Subscribers will get to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super NES) game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month.

Exclusive deals

Special offers for subscribers may include discounts on select digital games and content.

What do you think of the paid online services? Let us know below and don't forget to check Dave's first hands-on impressions with the Switch console.